Paris Climate Change Agreement Takes Effect Ahead of U.S. Presidential Election

Paris Agreement
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the West Lake State Guest House, Hangzhou, September 3, the day the U.S. and China formally joined the Paris climate deal. How Hwee Young/Getty

The Paris Agreement officially came into force in Europe at midnight Friday, days before the U.S. presidential election.

Providing a global framework for countries, both developing and developed, to address climate change, the accord, within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), was ratified in October 2016.

For the first time, the agreement brings nations from across the world into a legally binding common cause, The Guardian reports. The UNFCCC states the aim is "to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects."

As of November 2016, 192 states and the European Union have signed the agreement. All governments involved, including the U.S., China and India, now carry an obligation "to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels."

But if Republican hopeful Donald Trump wins the U.S. presidential election on November 8, the deal may fall apart as Trump has promised to cancel the accord if he makes it to the White House.

"Any regulation that's outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely," Trump said of the agreement in May. "We're going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns."